Press Releases

Jacksonville Transportation Authority Overcomes Workforce Challenges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (January 18, 2024) – As the impacts of post-pandemic hiring shortages and the "Great Resignation" are still being felt nationally, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is on track to meet its budgeted number of full-time bus operators by February.

With 28 Operator Trainees anticipated to graduate on February 2 and another class scheduled to begin at the end of January, the JTA is on course to meet its budgeted headcount of 368 full-time bus operators. In August 2023, JTA raised its wage rate to $20 per hour, coupled with a $1000 signing bonus, making its compensation package highly competitive with local private sector salaries. Just as significant is the emphasis on fostering strong relationships with prospective employees. JTA's human resources (HR) team attends numerous recruiting events and maintains an open dialogue through the process leading up to orientation, which has proven to be a key factor in recruiting new employees.

"In navigating the challenges of the recent workforce landscape, our HR team at JTA has prioritized a blend of professional excellence and a warm, inclusive work culture," said Mary Smith, Vice President of People and Culture. "By enhancing our compensation and nurturing open, engaging relationships with our team members, we've successfully built a committed workforce dedicated to providing top-notch service to the Jacksonville community."

This increase in the workforce leads to an increase in the frequency of service, reduces the average wait times for bus riders, and enhances the overall commuter experience.

The JTA team has remained steadfast in delivering quality transportation services to our customers while managing national workforce shortage trends precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation," said Nat P. Ford, CEO of JTA. "By adapting our hiring strategies, focusing on the well-being of our team, and ensuring competitive compensation, we're navigating and surmounting these challenges."

The period between 2019 and 2023 presented a tumultuous landscape for workforce management across various sectors, and the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing Great Resignation significantly altered employment dynamics, including public transportation. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 2023 Transit Workforce Shortage report shows that nearly all transit agencies across the country experienced a shortage of transit workers, impacting their service delivery. 96% of agencies reported a workforce shortage, with 84% stating that it affected their ability to provide service. The JTA has faced and overcome an aging workforce, intense competition for workers, and other significant workforce challenges.

By combining competitive compensation with a strong focus on bringing prospective employees into a positive and open work culture, the JTA, along with other transportation agencies around the country, continues to navigate and overcome these workforce shortages and revitalize public transit systems across the country.

APTA Report:


About the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is an independent state agency serving Jacksonville, Florida, and Northeast Florida with multi-modal responsibilities. The JTA provides mass public transit services and builds roads, bridges, and other infrastructure to enhance mobility in Jacksonville. Public transportation services include BRT and regular bus service, paratransit, the St. Johns River Ferry, Skyway APM, and other mobility and on-demand services in Duval, Clay, Baker, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. To learn more, visit